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RC James
Posted on: Jul 13 18, 16:06


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Clearly, above the hubub today,
the hounds’ bays, piercing,
sustained, drown out all other
sounds, as if a dome
of fogged silence shuts out
all but the fierce barks, yelps,
howls and growling.

The hounds’ owner sits,
calmly, on a ridge, knowing
precisely where the search leads.
He has adopted the measured,
well-advised course
maintaining the disciplined process
of discovery, arrest, and conviction.

He pauses for a solemn look
into the disarray of the valley,
then nudges his charger’s reins
back to from where he came,
the mountain where eagles live;
he’ll consult with a hermit there,
who has forsaken all comforts
for the headstrong life of refusal.

The horseman will simply sit
to a cup of the hermit’s special blend,
and as he leaves they’ll exchange nods,
nothing more; enough is enough.
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #150902 · Replies: 1 · Views: 607

RC James
Posted on: Jul 13 18, 16:03


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An otherworldly white rose appears full bloom
on the mantle to soothe our harsh tomorrows.
Where does the lithe spirit we abandoned loom?
Alive, alive in memory, not in sorrow.

The dread apparitions that claim you nightly,
will they too, come with us on our final run,
then in drear spite, haunt us anew frightfully,
and dwell in this dream’s remainder like a sun?

Will the fear of what we’ve come to understand,
proud in lop-top-sided triumph, embrace us?
A thousand turbulent miles from land lies more land,
here, the dolphins hypnotize with arcing trust.

The ocean of our past informs us, and gleams;
beneath tormented skies, prophets’ poems speak
while silent seamsters sew spirit to our dreams.
We can’t forget what we’ve lost for what we seek.

Can we summon the extent of what we know,
how we know it, and make when conform to now?
There is nothing more sound than a falcon’s show,
only a dove’s return with what love might allow.
  Forum: Fixed Form and Rhyming Poetry for Critique -... · Post Preview: #150901 · Replies: 1 · Views: 691

RC James
Posted on: Apr 24 18, 11:29


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Thank you Peterpan - I learned quite a lot about condensing and relevance on this one - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #150176 · Replies: 7 · Views: 3,056

RC James
Posted on: Apr 12 18, 00:46


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It's the normal pattern - orig. at the bottom, 1st rev. next up and latest rev. on top - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #150033 · Replies: 7 · Views: 3,056

RC James
Posted on: Apr 2 18, 23:26


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She assaulted my eyes with percussive light,
ratatattatting against dream window panes,
pulse set at zero, she amped it up to racing,
her sauciness teamed with shy eyelid flutter.

Her voice had the tone of midnight river-flow,
not a hallucination, a vivid portrait breathing
answers to street ruckus, hushed revelations.

There was a wispy nonchalance in her walk,
as she snuck quick looks over walls she knew
not as barriers, but vantage to a better view.

Across a Ukranian café table, we sent glances
each other’s’ way, both of us gaining insight
into that first-sight axiom’s truth in spades,
carrying the night before us into florid delights.

Desire, unbidden, entertained us with its ins,
its outs, its provocations alive, rapt in a view
of sensuousness sprung alive, alert to our
bodies’ twisting, indelicate, sensual spasms.

In an after-hours club, carousers brushed past us,
brash, blind to our active magnet-attraction. A fight
commenced, I sprang to separate them, bottles
crashing, chairs upended; hostilities ceased, she
moved from the back, and touched my arm lightly.

I asked her to dance; put off by the whip-lash
dancers, she demurred silently and bloomed
inside me with notes of her own feline dance,
unrevealed to any other witness, as I embraced
in thought her burgeoning waist, lithe as mist.

Pre-dawn at her fifth-floor walk-up, eros tossed
us back and forth next to the kitchen bathtub,
until a well-centered kiss found our lips willing.
I ushered up another request for a dance now;
her lips, still moist from mine, separated into
an unspoken sly pout, defining non-resistance,
and we moved to the center of these recollections.
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #149931 · Replies: 0 · Views: 525

RC James
Posted on: Feb 19 18, 01:26


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Final revision - for now - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #149614 · Replies: 7 · Views: 3,056

RC James
Posted on: Jan 31 18, 15:34


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I.

Their families at war with each other,
rabid dogs at the heels of a stranger,
one angry son to a feuding brother.
In their own measure, away from danger,
they intertwined hands, welcoming desire,
and gifted each other unwonted bliss.
As the clans’ rivalry spun in a gyre,
the two became aware of their abyss,
a deceptive potion would remedy
the dark mire, albeit a desperate cure.
Deadly, morbid, ill-advised, the recipe
effected a demise of hearts still pure.

In full wedding night posture, unavowed,
forever’s dusky form served as their shroud.


II.

Poppin’ off at each other, kinfolk were,
nasty coon-hounds worryin’ a preacher,
young frisky whelp to a nasty neighbor.
Hid away from peepin’ nosy stalkers,
they clutched each other tight and long,
gave each other a tasty dose of neon blue.
Families pissed as tom's in a gay cat bar,
the pair jumped up to their situation,
blotter acid mixed with pure thorazine
might prove the cure to their dilemma.
Too far-out, spacy, the cocktail, spookily
turned both their lights to endless black,

dressed for the hook-up, down for night,
laid-out, ebony eternity draped them tight.
  Forum: Fixed Form and Rhyming Poetry for Critique -... · Post Preview: #149477 · Replies: 1 · Views: 799

RC James
Posted on: Jan 31 18, 15:26


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Arnfinn - Love train poems - rhythm of the blues to me.

Within the train
Sway— rattle— bounce.
We sit Rae and me, knees barely
apart— our thoughts blended silence.

This stanza is a nice contrast to the noise going on above. Enjoyed this - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #149476 · Replies: 6 · Views: 3,059

RC James
Posted on: Jan 30 18, 08:45


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Thank you very much John - yes, Life it was and is, gratefully - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #149472 · Replies: 2 · Views: 949

RC James
Posted on: Jan 29 18, 14:41


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Flea market booths,
displays,
a quickened,
one-day settlement
in Albuquerque
winter sun.
Talking politics,
resistance,
why I’d moved back
to my birth country,
to fight
imposter
dimwit don.

Current partner
in the fight
said,
"back in the 50’s
in the army,
Korea,
black guys,
it wasn’t so good,
but gradual now,
getting better."
Moving in,
conspiratorially,
soft confidence,
I told him,
a Navajo craftsman,
"there’s a rainbow
inside me,
red, white, black,
brown, yellow,
no blue though,
that’s outside me,
up there, big,
overhead,
what all those colors
inside reach for."

Under that same blue,
later, on my route,
innocence raced
pell mell.
Two tiny latina
chicas,
long whirling,
swirling, black hair.
They raced
in parking lot dirt,
alongside Tony’s
Taco truck,
quitting for the day.
Big sister leading,
younger sister trailing,
both happy,
squealing meteors.

Me, sciatica-struck,
hobbling
with new wood cane,
making jokes
with other
cane-wielding citizens:
"You one of the three
Legged people too?"

After embarrassing fall,
teetering over
into a vendor’s display,
where I had chosen
an Indian bag,
flute player design,
for sister-in-law.
I turned to go back,
a small Indian girl
in my path,
moved just a fraction
to miss her
and lost balance,
crashing
thud, crumple
into middle of display,
hearing glass shattering
as I landed.

The curious gathered,
I rolled to the side,
apologizing
for whatever I broke,
I’ll pay for that,
I heard glass break.
Someone
handed me
the hardwood cane,
I, weaker
than I could accept,
inched up in some pain,
you alright?
choiring at me.
A teenage Latina
gave me a water bottle,
back to infancy,
dependent,
on the kindness
of strangers.

Dizzy head spinning,
gathered up
crumpled,
found the street
for home.
A straight
as a Navajo arrow
vapor trail
shot over me,
headed down
to the targeted
far horizon.
I craned my neck
to the limits of pain,
trying to capture
the white puff streak’s
beginnings,
not able to see,
not able to,
not able.

All those colors
inside,
moved
outside me now,
like separate,
endless skies,
all with their hands
extended,
towards me,
helping me up,
and up,
and up.
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #149466 · Replies: 2 · Views: 949

RC James
Posted on: Dec 5 17, 15:49


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


https://soundcloud.com/rc-james-user841120068/z0000418



I looked out this morning, blues ‘s far as I could see
mmmm-hmmmmm-mm, blues ‘s far as I could see
checked my mail, blues was all addressed to me

I went an’ picked up my guitar blues fell out like rain
Yahh – ohh – mmmhmmm – mm fell out like rain
An empty pillow your side ‘a the bed all that remain

I’m gonna ride on down on the coast at Gulfport
Ride on down, down on the coast at Gulfport
Swim on out ‘til these blues sink to tha ocean floor

Ain’t goin’ nowhere, just spinnin’ my back wheels
mmm-hah-mmm-mm-mm spinnin’ my back wheels
you evah had tha heartache you know how it feels

change your mind baby, better keep it to yourself
oh yah, baby, mmmmm-hmm- keep it to yourself
used to these blues now, I don’t want nothin’ else

keep it to yourself
I’m used to these blues
I don’ want nothin’ else
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #149115 · Replies: 2 · Views: 1,446

RC James
Posted on: Nov 15 17, 19:17


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282



If a friend whispers to you
the moment you discover
the shelter of laughter
falling through the dream
that wrapped your soul
in an endless aching, listen.
  Forum: Weekly Challenges -> Acropolis · Post Preview: #148957 · Replies: 0 · Views: 697

RC James
Posted on: Nov 11 17, 20:39


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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
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I like "longer than a radio show" - good tongue in cheek description - brisk rhythm - well done - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148915 · Replies: 5 · Views: 2,947

RC James
Posted on: Nov 11 17, 20:33


Assyrian
**

Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282



I

Insight hummed
in Abelard’s classrooms;
logic was seduction’s offshoot.
Virgin thoughts bounded beside him
on sodden or sunny streets.
Devoted to Trinity renewed,
he undid the tacky syllabus
grown musty.

Heloise, niece of Lord Fulbert,
whispered to her classmates,
voicing change.
She released will o’ the wisp
from papers of antiquated hubris,
and looked for a guide, a teacher,
who espoused possibility in all.
In his lecture room, she saw
the half of herself she thought
she’d never find, fast in his eyes.

Clarity spoke to both; beyond breath,
they forsook all to sigh's effusion,
love streamed agua pura freshets
lucid as words that hold their own rain.

II

They embraced, Fulbert blind to it.
Abelard’s lessons bounced
with classics and brimful hearts.
Fulbert caught them flagrante;
the affair, to his knowledge, ended

Heloise sought refuge at his sister’s.
Abelard pleaded the force of love
at her pregnancy, infuriating Fulbert more.
Put off by “sweet chains,”
sure of his imminent boredom,
the prison of marriage unappealing,
she left for a convent.

Abelard’s staff betrayed him
to Fulbert’s thugs; knives flashing in the dark,
they castrated him, his screams alerting neighbors.
Scholars howled misfortune, women nearby
showed him profound tenderness.

Shame, not conviction, turned Abelard
to the monastery; he taught again.
Heloise became first abbess
of the Paraclete Abbey,
child, sister, mother to the world.
Letters show regular contact.

Years later, at a brief reunion in Paris,
they realized their love as the holy key.

Theological snipers plagued Abelard
up to his last retirement,
where he encountered great kindness,
no jealousy, for his learning.

1142 he was gone.

Heloise studied for twenty years more.


History:
Heloise was a gifted student in 12th Century Paris, neice of Notre Dame’s Canon Fulbert. Twenty years her senior, Abelard, a philosopher/teacher, was intrigued by her wit and intelligence, on an intelectual par with him. They became romantically entwined, though such a relationship was forbidden at the time. Heloise became pregnant, and they fled Paris. They were plagued and harrassed by the uncle’s interference in their lives. Heloise escaped to a convent in Argenteuil. Fulbert set his hired assassins on Abelard. Their love endures in countless letters.

  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148914 · Replies: 1 · Views: 822

RC James
Posted on: Nov 4 17, 19:05


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Thanks Daniel - I do appreciate it - Best - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148873 · Replies: 2 · Views: 904

RC James
Posted on: Oct 18 17, 16:51


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282



Love’s a word
beyond words.

Language, duncelike,
can’t explain it.
You want it
past all meaning,
like a rosebud
opening in surprise
inside a breeze
in your chest,
so breathtaking
you're afraid
it's not yours
to keep.

Sometimes it’s a deluge
you don’t understand,
that submerges you
under skies that clear
to the warmth of focus
on the other.

Your impassable mountains
fall to a new horizon.

Touch alone
brings a harvest
that shines,
grains of sand
prisms in its light.

Take this love,
you’ll find more.
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148748 · Replies: 2 · Views: 904

RC James
Posted on: Oct 15 17, 22:07


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
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http://tindeck.com/listen/cogtc


I got to take a break –
Iook for an opening
tu-u-u-ne in
distance is a lot more than distance
more than a long way to go
feeling some resistance
got to make a connection

frequency modulation
is wrong
you got to make contact
it’s you or it’s all dust
not just any connection
contact – contact - contact

This is also a prayer – a chant
a rant – whatever you want it to be
what is your bandwidth
where are you now
make a connection –
tu –u – u – u – u – n - in

Resonance is out of kilter
what’s your wavelength
too much resistance
are we on the same bit stream
connection – make a connection
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148719 · Replies: 0 · Views: 766

RC James
Posted on: Oct 1 17, 02:24


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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Thank you Syl - I've passed the stage of doubt as to whether audio is allowed and allow myself. Very pleased you approve.
Best - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148642 · Replies: 2 · Views: 1,091

RC James
Posted on: Sep 26 17, 19:03


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


This is haunting and evocative of the season. Enjoyed - RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148606 · Replies: 10 · Views: 2,670

RC James
Posted on: Sep 26 17, 18:57


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


https://soundcloud.com/rc-james-user841120068/z0000286-1


Wolves are up on the ridge in the snow
It’s cold in this crazy white hair blizzard
Don’t look like there’s anywhere to go

Last time I saw you I let down my guard
You saw inside me a picture of the storm
Lost now, that’s just the way things are

I hear your voice, only thing that’s warm
My dreams need a Lamborghini engine
If they’re ever gonna start to perform

On the other side of the current troubles
On the far side, the crazy side of abandon
Like a rag-picker I’ve sifted through the rubble

Inside this no horizon, blinding white out
Let me tell you clear, I can hear you singing
Nobody on their way, nobody hears my shout

I’m New York City tough, alway been hard-nosed
And right now I’m huddled here in the tall pines,
your memory, ’specially when you danced, glows

Inside this death-rattle blizzard, all I can clearly see
Is you standin’ on the stage at Dominick’s Bar
Singin’ like you did, you were gonna set us all free

Now, right now here in this deadly silent whiteout
I can hear you singing - I can hear you singing
Birmingham bells on the North side come ringing
I can hear you singing – I can hear you singing
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #148605 · Replies: 2 · Views: 1,091

RC James
Posted on: Jul 11 17, 15:56


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


https://soundcloud.com/rc-james-user841120068/z0000304-1
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #147873 · Replies: 9 · Views: 2,700

RC James
Posted on: Jul 6 17, 11:58


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Greenwich - It doesn't refer to Dance Macabre, but to the original tango, whose mythology is packed with assassins and knives, more as symbols not as actual events. But it is the dance of the barrios of Buenos Aires and other towns. I've had problems putting this one together - this I think is the best I can do for now. Thanks for your look and questions. RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #147801 · Replies: 9 · Views: 2,700

RC James
Posted on: Jul 4 17, 02:31


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Eira - Very beautiful - I especially like the last two stanzas and the ending is very fine:

Yet her aura lingers through the day
calming storms that drench me.

Well done - Richard
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #147752 · Replies: 10 · Views: 2,881

RC James
Posted on: Jul 1 17, 12:17


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


Ali - I don't know that Larry would be that pleased to have this piece attributed to him, it's actually mine. RC
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #147686 · Replies: 9 · Views: 2,700

RC James
Posted on: Jun 29 17, 05:19


Assyrian
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Group: Gold Member
Posts: 250
Joined: 1-November 15
Member No.: 5,282


(Revision2)



The compass points south
to the knife, the guitar,
deep song,
and the furtive assassin

The dagger readily cuts
through passion.
The shadowy blade
wielder,
or rather, the myth,
reflects the low life
around it.
In the alleyway,
slinky, stealthy moves
possess the killing ground,
mythologies dissipate,
switchblades
lose their owners
to blaring sirens.
The dagger makes no sound,
it weighs
on the assassin,
flashes to the heart
as time; the dead live
in the tango.
Now gone, past renewal,
laid down rope-wise,
thorough benediction,
they live inside the dance,
in the tone of the guitar,
in lucid now,
in what has been ignored,
and what is now uncovered.








Glinting under
a fugitive moon,
the knife slices
through passion;
the spectral defiler,
cloaked in myth,
cuts through low life
around him.

In the alleyway,
the blade’s shine
challenges the sky,
mythologies dissipate.
The dagger
weighs on the assassin.
He apprises
the razor edge
with a wary thumb,
then, silently,
lacerates time,

The dead live in the tango,
laid down rope-wise,
under thorough benediction,
they live inside the tango,
in the tone of the guitar,
in lucid now,
in what has been ignored,
what is now uncovered.




(orig.)

A blade,
in faint shadows
under a fugitive moon,
slices through
distorted passion,
frenzied low life.
In the alleyway,
alien wasteland,
the blade’s shadow
torments the sky.
The assassin savors
the blade’s edge
with an anxious thumb.
Then, without a whisper,
he lacerates time,
the beating heart.
The dead,
past renewal,
under thorough benediction.
live inside the tango,
in the tone of the guitar,
in lucid now,
in what has been ignored,
what is now uncovered,
courage, deep song,
and the assassin’s blade.
  Forum: Free Verse Poetry for Critique -> Seren'... · Post Preview: #147629 · Replies: 9 · Views: 2,700

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